I Thought Outside the Box – and it Worked!

“My mentor gave me the self belief I needed at a low point.”

Hear about Muhammad’s incredible story to land his dream job with KPMG.

I graduated in 2021 with an Economics and Accounting degree from Queen’s University, Belfast. A good start, so I thought, but being an international student it meant I faced additional hurdles to secure permanent work – namely finding an employer willing to sponsor me.

It didn’t stop me applying for numerous roles and reaching interview stage with the likes of Deloitte and PwC, but I wasn’t getting through to the final stages. I really struggled with the interviews and especially ones which used AI software. If you’ve ever experienced this, it is a video interview which monitors facial movements among other things which I really found off putting and hard to master. As a result, I was getting stuck, and my morale was starting to take a nosedive as I wasn’t progressing.

I discovered Graduate Mentor from a friend. I searched for mentors and booked a session with Zia really easily. He was brilliant, very friendly and helped me with my CV and generally changing my outlook, giving me more positivity with each session. It is important to mention that surrounding yourself with the right people changes everything. It allowed me to put my mind in the right space – as I was still unemployed.

I started writing articles about the Economy and Social Issues which I found instant joy in doing. It was then I struck on an idea to really stand out. I bought a whiteboard, wrote my details on it with a QR code and stood in the high street in Leeds. Lots of people were taking photos and as luck would have it, one person, Tanya, shared it on LinkedIn and my mentor Zia saw it! The number of views, likes, shares and comments grew and then, out of the blue, I got a message from a recruiter at KPMG – my plan had worked.

I am a strong advocate of this if your ideology is right and your mind is in the right space; all forces in the world form an alliance to attain what you deserve. If you are on a path which is right, the universe will throw curve balls and situations that will challenge us. Always remember sometimes it’s the darkest before the dawn and you must always trust the process. We just need to keep on moving and somewhere down there we will find the top of the totem pole. It is in the challenge that we are challenged. I am very proud to say that in the entire process of development I was not only able to get my dream job but also I am working on creating a website for articles on different social issues.

With an improved CV and morale reboot from my mentor I was able to secure a graduate role with KPMG in the Crown Dependencies and I have started to create my own website for article/blog posting. It really is a dream come true and I owe Graduate Mentor a debt to thanks from making it happen.